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Old 11-19-2007, 07:53 AM   #1
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Working with caramel

I made caramel and chocolate covered pretzels and the caramel got very hard. I used the pre-wrapped caramels and melted them over low heat in a saucepan. Any tips on keeping the caramel soft and chewy underneath the chocolate layer???
Thanks.

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Old 11-19-2007, 07:56 AM   #2
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I believe it's a matter of how hot the caramels got in your pan. As sugar heats to a higher temperature, it changes, so when it cools it will be harder.

Try again using a double boiler so they get just hot enough to melt and coat the pretzels but not to change texture.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:30 AM   #3
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Making your own caramel from scratch perhaps??
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #4
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Also working with caramel right now (mini-caramel apple experiment). I think I might need to "thin" my caramel out so that it coats my apples easily... but not make it so runny that it doesn't stay or is only a really thin coating. Any ideas?
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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You can thin caramel with evaporated milk. That's how they get it on the big apples.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:45 PM   #6
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Evaporated, or condensed? Condensed has sugar in it, evaporated doesn't.
Just making sure before I make a trip to the store and get a can of something I'm not gonna use all of today.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:51 PM   #7
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I used to make candy for a living. Evaporated, I promise.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Dokey okey. Off to the store to buy some Evaporated milk
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Just cuz my profile says stay at home mom doesn't mean I've never been outta the house!!!!!
Trust the retired candy chick. Really.
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:23 PM   #10
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Oh I trust you... one small can Carnation evaporated milk is now sitting on my counter, waiting for my double-boiler to do the double boil thing.

And the "home mom" thing in your profile would have just made you more qualified in my eyes, had I read it. My mom didn't cook much when I was a kid, as she was in the Air Force, but both my grandmothers were the "stay at home" type. They both could cook up a storm when they wanted to.

Any idea how much? Contents of my double bolier now include 1 10 oz bag of Werthers Original chewy caramels (which was the ONLY type I could find... Why don't supermarkets carry the big honking bags of Brachs caramels I remember from when I was younger?)
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:40 PM   #11
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Well for 20 - 25 lbs of caramel we used to just pour until it "felt right". This is where you are going to get annoyed with me. SORRY!!!!
Caramel is trial and error. If you are not bringing it to a rolling boil, which I wouldn't do, I'd say a 1/4 cup maybe? You won't use the whole can. We used maybe 1 1/2 cans for a large batch.
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:24 PM   #12
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Update:

I added a teaspoon at a time (twice) and it looked like the consistancy I would need. It's a little thicker than what you would find on a normal caramel apple though.

I think I got it right, except one small detail. They got runny if I didn't cool em off quick. What I started doing was dropping em on small sheets of foil (between 5 and 10 to a sheet), and then transferring them to a cookie sheet I had in my fridge. The first batch (that I had sitting out while I did the second batch) ran all over, the batches I put in the fridge soon enough seemed to hold up ok.

Though I'm probably going to want to get a roll of waxed paper before I try this again. Sticky sticky... even on parchment.

Edit:

That's a definate YES on the wax paper... all the ones I had on foil are stuck hard.

Another thing, it seems there's juice coming out of my mini-apples (took a melon baller to a couple apples) which makes the coating unstable. Basically, the caramel will come off given the slightest excuse. Think it's fixable, just have to use wax paper and chill them down good and pull em off with a spatula rather than using the toothpick.

Other than that, I'm learning.
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:40 PM   #13
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I apologize if I sounded cranky / defensive earlier. Had just gotten off the phone with my 3 degree having mother. I was supposed to have a career. I don't. And I don't care...

MOVING ON

I don't know where you are but climate / weather has alot to do with how things set up. Even bread in the summer is different in winter.
The Brachs' caramels were AWESOME for melting, I find them at Menards' (think Home Depot) in bags if at all. I never tried the Werthers, except to eat too much!!

This is too funny, 2 threads in 1 day, helping 2 different people thru caramel. I really want SOMEBODY to have sucess, or I look like an idiot. Check out this thread.
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...-new-post.html
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:01 PM   #14
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Oops I forgot you are working with apples w/o skins, the juice would add a factor that I am not familiar with...

I wonder if you boiled the teeny apple pieces a bit first? But that may make them mushy.

Shutting up now.
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:26 PM   #15
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Its been a few years that I have dipped pretzel rods, the only luck I have is to go to a Baking supply store and BUY their soft caramel ! Hoping I will learn something here - Lets us all know how it turned out, VaporTrial - sure would appreciate it !
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